Friday, December 13, 2013

December already?

If you have been wondering if I would post this on this blog was I!  I do want to keep the blog going, and I have a lot of ideas of things to post.  I have found out that furlough is a different kind of life.  OK, so I already knew that, but.... 
This is actually the longest furlough that we have ever taken.  We usually stay in the US for about 6 months, so it has been different for us to be here for so many months.   While on furlough, we have been visiting a lot of churches to update the ministry or present the ministry to new churches.  When you go from church to church you get a lot of questions.
Do you have a home? (not exactly)
Where did you get your van?  (from a friend)
How long will you be in the US?  (till we go back..probably March)
Do you miss India? (yes)
What is India like or how is it different from the US? (now there's a question with a loaded answer)
Do your kids speak English? (yes)
Do your kids speak Indian? (no, Indian is not a language, we speak Hindi :-))
We have visited a lot of churches and a lot of states, and even made it to Canada.  One of the difficulties of furlough is not having a schedule of your own.  Since we don't have a home of our own here, we are usually staying with family, friends, churches, or strangers.  When you stay with someone else you kind of have to flow with their schedule.  Our schedule of meetings has also been busy, hence a silent blog. 
We have been homeschooling on the road, and the months of October and November were filled with mission conferences and various other meetings.  We have now landed in Maine for December.  Maine...for December?  No, we are not crazy (not much).  I love the cold, and wanted my kids to see some snow.  They haven't seen much in their lives.  We haven't been in the US during December since 2005.  So, we have put away the school books for the month, and are soaking up the cold, snow, and family time.  The kids are learning to slide and make snowmen, and spending as much time as possible with their cousins. 
Look for more updates to come soon (I hope).  Please bear with this furlough missionary! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Heavy on our hearts

Have you ever been persecuted for your faith?  Do you know anyone who has faced persecution?  I have heard many people talk about having a "door slammed in their face", while on visitation, and being sworn at or having someone take a tract and throw it on the ground, and these instances being given as examples of persecution.  I don't consider any of these scenarios persecution.  These are examples of unsaved people being antagonistic toward the Gospel. 

persecute:  to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief

There is a believer in India who is heavy on our hearts right now.  Because of the situation, I am not giving many specifics or details.  We are just asking our friends and supporters to pray.
There is a person who has been attending one of our churches for a while.  This person is the only Christian in their strong Hindu family.  The family is violently opposed to Christianity.  Recently, this person decided, after much prayer and counsel, that they were ready to take a public stand for Christ.  This person had told us that when they returned to their home, they wanted to share the Gospel with their family, fully knowing that there would be consequences.  We learned today that there have been consequences.  The family confiscated the Bible and phone of this believer.  They won't allow this believer to contact any of their Christian friends, and are trying to force this person to marry a high caste Hindu.  Brian was able to talk to this person briefly on the phone.  This believer told him that they are living in a nightmare, with no escape in sight.  They are a prisoner in their own home, because they took a stand for Christ. 
Please pray for this believer in Christ, who is suffering real persecution at the hands of their family members.  Our hearts are heavy as we are not able to contact or correspond with this person at this time. Please pray with us that God would send strength and deliverance.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Interesting" trip back to India

Many of you probably know that Brian has traveled back to India for 3 weeks.  When you have a ministry and life established in a country, it is very difficult to leave it for months at a time!  On the way to India, he had a layover in Amsterdam.  When he went to check-in for his flight, they wanted to see his old, expired passport.  Well, he didn't have it with him.  Why? you's expired..and we've never been asked for it before.  They didn't even ask for it when he boarded a plane in Chicago.
So, they wouldn't let him board a plane to India.  What were our options???
1. He could fly back to the US to get the passport.  Not very feasible or affordable.
2. I could fly to Amsterdam to hand the passport over.  Hmmm...while an interesting idea..not possible.
3.  I could overnight the passport to him.   Sounds a little scary, and we weren't sure where mail would get sent in such a large, and busy airport.
4.  The immigration office in Amsterdam told him to visit the Indian embassy there for help, because this had to do with a stamp for his visa.  Visit the Indian embassy  This person has obviously never visited the Indian embassy!  Anyway...that seemed like the only option that was possible.  So, he stayed overnight in Amsterdam and went to the embassy.  I don't know how helpful they were (doubtful), but he was able to get the visa he needed to get to India.
You never know what new regulations foreign governments will come up with to throw you off, even when you think you know what you are doing!   He says that when he gets back to the US, he will staple his expired passport to the new one.  Are you allowed to do that?  He doesn't care..he said for the price of 2 staples he can keep a small part of his sanity!  HA!
He is on the plane to India now, please pray for his 3 week stay there.  He will be visiting the churches, checking out our house, teaching a pastor's class, and visiting a new orphanage.
Thanks to everyone who is praying for his travels.  I will try to update you when I can.

Life on the Road

The last couple months have been busy ones for our family.  We spent June in the Maryland/Pennsylvania/Delaware area.  We reported to supporting churches there, and visited a few new ones.
The first week of July, we traveled back to Maine, to celebrate Kara's birthday with family, and to spend a couple days camping. 
After a great week, it was back to the road.  We spent a couple days in PA.  This was an exciting meeting for the kids (all of us really), because we were able to visit with Pastor and Mrs. Dubish, and Bro. Eddie, who had all just arrived back from Mohali.  They are like family to us, and it was nice to be able to hear first hand about what had been going on in India during our months away.
Next, it was on to Minnesota.  We enjoyed our first missions conference of this furlough at one of our supporting churches.  It was a blessing to be at the same church for more than one service!  The Pastor's family made us feel right at home, and didn't blink an eye when Brian got sick and lay half dead (nearly) on their couch for 3 days!  We really pushed the limits of hospitality, but they were wonderful, and we were actually sorry to leave.  Our kids became instant friends with theirs, and were sad to leave them behind!

We spent the next 2 weeks in Wisconsin, visiting Brian's family, and having meetings in that area.  Our kids (especially Ethan) loved life on the farm!
Now, we are back at our home church in Indiana for a few weeks, while Brian takes a quick trip back to India.
Kind of a quick summary of the last couple months, with many details left out, but you get the idea!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Busy days

What have the Pratts been up to?

We flew back to the US mid-April.  We took a couple weeks off to rest, recuperate, and adjust to all the changes.  The life that we live in the States is so different from our "normal" life on the mission field.  Even after almost 2 months here, I find my children struggling with certain aspects of our "life on furlough".  To be honest I struggle with certain aspects of it myself (but that can be a subject for a future post).  So, here is a brief run down of some of the things that have been keeping us busy the last few weeks.


We've spent time with family, one of the best things about furlough.
We "skype" weekly with those in India.

We've started spending quite a lot of time in the van.

We've started spending a lot of time visiting churches. 
So far, our busiest week, we were in four different churches all in the same week.  We have also already visited churches in 5 different states, and one Canadian province. 
Pray for us as we continue our furlough journey.
Memorial Day in Lee, was cold that day!

White Mts., NH

New Hampshire

Picking strawberries

Amish farmer in PA

....and a lot of packing and unpacking

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Quick post

     This blog has been silent for over a month.  I've had a few people ask when I was planning to update it!  We finished school at the end of March.  Instead of having more time to get "extras" done, we became extremely busy in the ministry.  We had a lot of meetings and Bible studies, and we also had so many people who wanted to spend time with us before we headed back to the US.  I also became very busy at home getting things packed up and stored before our time of furlough.  Preparing your house to be vacant for months, in a country where mold and various "varmints" could easily take over, is not a small project. 
   Since arriving in the US, my time has been spent getting everyone adjusted to the time, culture, and food, and also spending a lot of time with family.  I have a lot of things I want to blog about.  Hopefully, I will get a couple of posts done this week.  So, bear with me, I'll share some updates on our family and ministry very soon!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Resurrection Sunday 2013

As Christians, we actually celebrate the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, since He rose on the first day of the week.  However, we also enjoy a special Sunday each year, where we specifically remember the resurrection.
As you can probably tell from some of my blog posts, we love to have fellowship in our churches.  On this Resurrection Sunday 2013, the Mohali and Chandigarh churches came together for an all-day combined service.  It literally lasted all day.  We started around 9:30am, and we still had people here cleaning up and fellowshipping at 9:30pm! 
Early morning food prep...glad the monkey didn't visit us on this day!

We had an attendance of 110 that day!  What a blessing!.  Someone asked us, "How do you fit that many people into your house?"  Well, we take out all of the furniture, we don't use chairs....and we believe in close fellowship!!
We had a truly blessed day celebrating and remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

A surprise visitor

We live in the city...not in the jungle.  But, once in a while, wild animals still roam!  We had a surprise visitor outside our house the other morning.
This was quite a large monkey, who climbed over the wall in back of our house and looked around our yard for a while.
These pictures were taken from inside the house, through an open window.  These monkeys can get aggressive, if they are confronted.
After eating a few handfuls of peppermint that we have growing there, he jumped the wall into the neighbors yard. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Crowd

Today was the first service at our new location for Grace Baptist Church, our house.
We thought maybe the numbers would be down today, since we moved to a new location.  We had 60 in the morning service!  Some even walked the 1.5 kilometers from the building where we used to meet, because they were too late to ride in the church vehicle.

We had a teenage girl leave our church in anger a couple of years ago.  She said, at that time, that she would never set foot inside our church again.  Last week, she came for the service.  This week she and her cousin walked the 1.5 km to church, and she raised her hand at the end of the service for prayer.  It is a blessing to see God changing someone who seems (to us) unchangeable.  Please continue to pray for God to work in hearts at Grace Baptist Church.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A House Warming

Recently, one of the members of the Chandigarh fellowship (ZCFC) was married in Manipur.  Brian was able to travel to Manipur to attend the wedding.
When the newlyweds arrived in Chandigarh we had a house warming and welcome fellowship.  Here are some photos from our evening of fellowship.

Looks like trouble...

Too nice...she should have made him wear a little frosting!

Congratulations Gainingam and Janpuina!

Melody is 10!

On March 4th, Melody turned 10 years old. 
Melody has spent most of her life in India.  We were in India for a year, and then returned to the US for a few months, because of some political problems in the country.  While back in the States, we found out I was expecting, so decided to stay in the US for her birth.  At that time, honestly, I was not comfortable giving birth in any of the hospitals that were available to us near our home in India.  Since then, things have obviously changed, since Melody was the last of our children to be born in the US. (Ethan was born in Kerala, and Kara in Punjab)   Melody was 6 weeks old when we returned to India.
Happy Birthday to our tenderhearted 10-year old, Melody Joy!


Things have been busy around here, and we so appreciate those that are praying for us!  A couple weeks ago I posted some prayer requests, so I thought I would give a short update on some of the answers to prayer we have seen recently. 
       We have been praying for a couple months for a new place to meet for the church, because the rent went way up, and we just were not able to handle it financially.  It came down to the last few days, and every place that we checked out, fell through for one reason or another.  Brian went to talk to landlord of the house that we live in to let him know that we would be moving out of the house and putting our things in storage while we went to the US, in order to save money on rent.  He was so upset at losing us as tenants that he agreed to let the church meet in our house for the time that we will be in the US. So, we will store our stuff in one of the bedrooms and the church will use the hall for meetings.  This is actually a double blessing, because we really did not want to move out of this house (especially me!)
         This week we were able to purchase the tickets for our trip to the US.  Also, Brian talked to a friend of ours in the US, who told him that he is buying a full size van for us to use during our time on furlough.  This is a great blessing, since their vehicle is a missionary family's second home while on furlough
          Continue to pray for us, as we are very busy with both the Mohali and Chandigarh churches.  We have 2 1/2 more weeks of school for this year, and I have started organizing and packing up the house, so things are very busy at home as well.  So thankful for the prayers and support!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Brian has been wanting our college students to experience an American style "BBQ".  So, on the first Saturday in February we invited them all over to our house for a young people's fellowship.
Food preparation
There were about 25 who attended.  We only have a tiny gas grill that hooks up to my cooking gas cylinder (which can take a week or more to get refilled), so we knew we had to come up with a better solution to cook for so many people.  Using cast off bricks from a neighbors building project, a couple of oven racks, and some coal, we got a good system that easily cooked all the meat for our crowd.

Brian and Pastor Dubish were the "BBQ masters".
The girls and I made coleslaw, potato salad, and desserts.  Some of our brothers and sisters from Manipur made fish and pork in their style, and since this is still India (American BBQ or not), we made some rice!
Cooking the rice

Naomi and Pooja chowing down

Kara and her friend sitting on the wall

Looks like everyone is enjoying the BBQ!

Hmmm..not sure if Blessing and Alex are enjoying or not!

We had the BBQ on the roof of our house.  Since we don't really have a back or front yard, this was the most convenient place.
After everyone enjoyed the food, we had a short message, and then watched the movie "Courageous".  It was a very enjoyable time!